When we introduce a sentence with an affirmative opinion phrase, like creo que, opino que, pienso que..., me parece que..., it is followed by the indicative:
Yo creo que Marta tiene celos.
I think Marta is jealous.
Pienso que el alcalde debería tener un salario más bajo.
I think the mayor should have a lower salary.
A mi me parece que la fruta es muy cara en esta tienda.
I think the fruit is very expensive in this shop.
However, if we make the sentences above negative we use the subjunctive rather than the indicative:
Yo no creo que María sea celosa.I don't think María is jealous.
A mí no me parece que la fruta sea muy cara en esta tienda.I don't think the fruit is very expensive in this shop.
Here are some more common opinion phrases where this rule applies:
- Opino que... My opinion is... / I think that...
- Considero que... I consider that...
- Sospecho que... I suspect that...
Have a look and listen to these examples:
Nosotros no opinamos que el jefe tenga razón. We do not think that the boss is right.
Mi madre no piensa que yo vaya a terminar el curso de fotografía.My mother does not think I will be able to finish the photography course.
Mi marido no considera que los niños estén malcriados.My husband does not think that the children are spoilt.
Fernando no sospecha que su mujer le haya sido infiel siempre.Fernando does not suspect that his wife has always been unfaithful.
Notice that when the negative opinion phrase is in the present tense, the sentence after "que" can be expressed in any subjunctive tense. We can express an opinion about something happening in the present, past or future:
- No creo que Susana venga hoy. (I don't think Susana will come today.)
- No creo que Susana vaya a venir hoy. (I don't think Susana is going to come today.)
- No creo que Susana haya venido hoy. (I don't think Susana came today.)
- No creo que Susana viniera hoy. (I don't think Susana came today.)
- No creo que Susana hubiera venido hoy. (I don't think Susana would have come today.)
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